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"COME GRANDFATHER, IN THE SAND!!..." The small boy raised his hand. "I've found something that you've NEVER seen!" "He runs about madly", the old man thought sadly, "His eyes and his ears, bright and keen." So he slowly arose, from his place of repose, and walked painfully down towards the beach, where his grandson awaited, with panting breath, bated... grimy hands opened wide, at his reach. "Oh, that's just a sand dollar, with the way that you hollered, I'd have thought that you found buried treasure." "Don't bother me now," said he with a frown, "I'll just sit here and rest at my leisure." His grandson turned away, saddened eyes had their say, for half of life's thrill is the sharing. And the sand dollar dropped, as one's happiness stops, when someone who's loved is past caring. At once came regret, for the words he had let... so cruelly, escape from his lips. And he picked up the child, humbled and mild, and asked pardon, for his careless slip. Then the old man thought, of all he'd been taught, of the earth and the sky and the sea. And of himself asked, if six decades past, that small boy crouching there, could be he. But the years full of toil, had bit by bit spoiled, the wonder and awe of his childhood, 'till he saw not the sunrise, nor how softly the dew lies, on the lilies that grow in the wildwood... or the croaking of toads, and the crashing of wave-foam, that even now thrilled the heart of the youth. All his knowledge became, after time, so mundane, without wonder... there's no joy in truth. So the gray head bent, by the child God had sent, for the teacher at times must be taught. To again find the joy, that possessed a small boy, for the fallen sand dollar they sought. And so all afternoon, out in nature's classroom, the two students learned by the bay. The child growing older, wiser and bolder, while the grandfather's years fell away. When they left for the night, by sunset's red light, each had found something precious to keep... for with old or with young, new discoveries come... to the one... with the spirit... to seek.
This poem was originally published on my personal website.
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